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Thursday, 8 September 2016

A change in the pattern

Normally I will walk for about an hour and 20 minutes then come home but today I changed the pattern and stopped off to have coffee with a friend. I haven't seen this friend since Christmas and even then we don't meet that often. But he dropped me a line on Facebook this morning and asked how I was so we decided to meet up for coffee.

It was a relatively warm day again today. The days are getting distinctly warmer, which makes me hope that the workmen on our building will get their jobs done and be able to remove the scaffolding that is up all along the east side of the edifice. I took the usual route down through Darling Harbour and past the crowds of school children - there seemed to be more of them today than usual - and along to the bridge that crosses Liverpool Street.

In Dixon Street there were only a few people as it was still early - too early for lunch crowds - and I could walk unheeded past the shopfronts with their loud signs in Chinese advertising real estate or food. At the corner of Hay Street as I passed the pub there was a group of older men at a table outside each with a schooner of beer in front of him. One man in particular whom I had seen while I was on other walks, stood out from his peers. He seemed to have tattoos on his neck. At least his neck was heavily lined. He seemed weathered. All of the men there seemed to be set like jewels in their places, as if that were the most natural place in the world for them to be.

In Ultimo Road I sent a text message to my friend, who I was to meet at "the corner". I didn't know which corner so I stayed at the corner of Ultimo Road and Harris Street. It ended up that he wanted me to meet him at the next corner of Harris Street - I think it is called Mary Ann Street - and when I saw him walking along the footpath on the other side of the busy road, I pressed the button to change the pedestrian signal. We ended up eventually going into a cafe on Harris Street where we sat at a table at the back and talked for about 40 minutes. We spent a fair amount of time talking about my daughter and her troubles, which is hardly surprising. He reminded me that when he and I had worked together over 10 years ago I had been having problems contacting my son and daughter. It was true. Things had changed - mostly on the positive side - and we had a good chat about how time alters all things.

After all this philosophy I set out again to complete my walk, and stopped at the sushi place on the way home to pick up some packets of sushi for lunch, which I ate at my desk with a cup of cold coffee: the remnants of the pot that I had prepared for breakfast and which had sat unfinished while I was out walking during the morning.

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